Patrick’s Steak and Spirits has been established in Memphis for many years. Yet, I had never even heard of it until a couple years ago. I have been a few times to meet friends for Wednesday Night Trivia, but I never stayed long and never ate. I finally decided to give the place a complete try a couple of days ago.
Monday night I was in a celebratory mood, as I had just successfully defended my Master’s project (!!). Erin and I decided to meet up at Patrick’s, so I could both cure my aching appetite and toast to my final step toward graduation.
It was a Monday night around 8:30, so the place was not very busy. Since the weather was beautiful, we headed out to the patio to join a handful of other tables. We sit down and begin chatting, until we noticed it had been about ten minutes. We look around, and a nice guy finally came over to take our drink order. We both got Killian’s, because it’s a happy hour special. FYI: If you’re in the restaurant industry, you get happy hour discounts all day every day.
He drops our drinks back off and introduces another lady across the patio as our server. We thank him and continue our conversation. After about 30 or 40 minutes, my stomach lets out a loud grumble, and I am getting a little antsy to order food. I wave my server down, ask her if I can get some food, and she casually says she will be right back with me. She comes back quickly and takes my order. Erin and I, once again, continue to sip our drinks and catch up. After about 20 minutes, the original nice guy comes back with our food and asks if we need anything. We both ask him for silverware, and he says he will be right back.
We wait a good 5 or 10 minutes for him to come back, but he never shows. My stomach continues to growl and my food is getting cold. I decided to go inside and get utensils myself. I look for our official server as I am walking to the bucket of rolled napkins, but I never spot her. The nice guy, however, was busy washing black mats in the back of the restaurant. I sigh and walk back out. He does return a few minutes later with a hurried look and silverware in his hand.
We eat and talk some more. Then, we finishing eating and talk some more. Then, eventually, over half an hour later, we stop talking and look around for our server. I am finally able to flag her down, and we ask for our check. We were surprised when she was back to our table in less than a minute with our tabs. Apparently she was really ready to get out of there. We leave enough cash on the table to not need change (no telling how long that would take), and we get up to leave. I spot our server out of the corner of my eye talking to friends at a table, and she stares at me the whole time I leave. No goodbye or have a good night, or even a “screw you” look. Just a stare.
Now, I am not a hard person to please as a restaurant patron. Usually I just want to kick back with a beer and some food, relax, and enjoy my company. If you are truly trying and always have a good attitude as a server, I am content. However, with this experience, our official server never had a good attitude. There was never an apology or acknowledgement at all of anything taking a long time. It just seemed like they did not care.
All of this being said, the food was delicious. What the service lacked, the food almost made up for. I ordered a sausage and cheese plate for the two of us to split. I love sausage and cheese plates, and this one did not disappoint. With cheddar, pepperjack, and swiss cheese, amongst all of the fixings, I was satisfied. The only thing I could complain about is that their plate does not come with crackers. I prefer having club or saltine crackers to eat my sausage and cheese plates with.
With the sausage and cheese plate, I also ordered the Brie Burger and curly fries. The burger comes medium rare, just like I like it, with brie cheese stuffed right in the middle of the burger. This means that when you take your first bite, the cheese oozes over the whole burger and causes a huge mess. It’s awesome. After two bites, all of the contents of the burger began slipping apart. I ended up having to use a fork and knife to eat my burger. I have never eaten a burger with a fork and knife. I don’t know if this is a compliment to the food or if should earn the “Toolbag of the Year” award, but I am going to go with the first. The fries were super crispy and amazing as well. Erin polished off most of them, but I had enough to know I approved.
Overall, my Patrick’s experience was a bust. As my previous restaurant manager always said, “People come for the food. They come back for the service.” This is true to an extent. I can find equally good comfort food elsewhere, especially if they have better service. However, since Patrick’s is a local restaurant with good food, I would be willing to give them another chance. I will most likely be back to have a drink of Wednesday nights, but I am debating on staying for a whole meal or more than one drink.
To their credit, Patrick’s is fully involved in their community. They participate in Zoo Rendezvous and Polar Bear Plunge every year. Mike Miller, the owner of the restaurant, is also the President of the Memphis Restaurant Association. That should give them some credit.
I will also say that I know Patrick’s has at least a couple cool servers. I have had several good conversations with one of the bartenders, and my friend Matty C works there as well. He is always cool.
If you want more opinions than just my own, you can visit Patrick’s on Urbanspoon and Yelp. You can also find Patrick’s on their website (where you can find their menu), Facebook, and Twitter. Check them out on Google Maps as well.